I'm writing an application for a dissertation fellowship, which according to the application is "to a truly outstanding doctoral degree candidate in the last semester of residence".
I need to write a 'personal statement' which is only described as follows:
a statement of how the fellowship will facilitate the completion of the doctoral degree by May 2015
That's it. No other guidelines are given to describe how to write this personal statement.
My research is theoretical, and does not require the purchase of any special equipment other than pencil and eraser. Thus, my naïve, simplistic answer this question is:
"I need the money so I can pay for tuition long enough and buy enough food to keep my brain cells alive long enough to graduate".
Obviously, I know this is the worst possible way to answer this question. In all honesty, the way this fellowship describes how to write the personal statement is rather limited. Other than writing a more eloquent phrasing of "give me money so I can eat", I can't think of anything else to write in it.
What do personal statements generally contain for fellowships like this? Are they usually as limited as this? What other points can I bring out in this statement other than "I need to buy food and pay for school"?